Rex Ramsay of Piper Jaffray's Des Moines office was on hand at the Storm Lake Board of Education meeting Thursday to discuss the proposed timetable and the electronic bidding for the $5.6 million SILO bonds to be used for the new elementary school.
Sealed bids and electronic bidding will be accepted. Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis and Kansas City (not Des Moines) will be allowed to bid and use the electronic bidding as well. Bids will be accepted up to March 13.
Bids will be received, results will be reviewed and tabulated and at the board's regular meeting, March 13, the board will adopt the resolution directing the sale to the lowest bidders. Bonds are expected to be delivered to the school April 9.
The bonds are repaid through local options sales tax revenue received by the district.
Ramsay pointed out that some very good bidders came in last spring when $3.5 million in SILO bonds were offered, and he was quite pleased. He pointed out that the bond sale funds "go directly to the project in lieu of levying the debt."
The board also looked over the estimated costs of items for the new building - including furnishings, telephone system, fencing, playground equipment, some landscaping, lawn care equipment, snow removal equipment and a crossing light between the middle school and elementary school. The total of the items amounted to $1.5 million, over the estimated $1.4 million that it was hoped would take care of the costs.
The list will need to be prioritized, pointed out Superintendent Dr. Paul Tedesco, to bring the costs down.
Although the school would like to see the stop light at the school, Tedesco said that the school has no control over whether one can be placed there - and neither does the city.
The state regulates where stop lights go up, he has learned, based on traffic patterns. The only times of the day that the traffic would be heavy enough to possibly qualify them for a stop light at that spot would be at drop-off time and pickup time.
If the signal is not approved, costs would be reduced by about $100,000.
Some items, including custodian cleaning carts and washers and dryers in the special education rooms could be paid for out of other areas.
"I'm confident that $1.4 million is enough to pay for what is needed," said Tedesco.
The board approved the $1.4 million budget - but not necessarily the exact list of potential purchases presented to them.
In other business, the board also examined the tuberculosis policy that the district has in place.
The current policy states that all students are required to be immunized, including the Mantoux B skin test for tuberculosis. Students are also required to have a physical exam before entering school, as a kindergartner, or moving to the district.
School nurse Sandy Wells told the board that is recommending that targeting testing be required as not all families moving to the district have money to pay for the TB test - available at public health for $10. She suggested that if students answer yes to any of the specified questions on the TB risk assessment questionnaire, they would be required to have a TB test.
Board member Ed McKenna said he he has a problem with simply "spot-checking. I feel it should be required." Wells said over the years there have been "positive" tests by some students but nothing "active."
"A lot of schools have done away with the policy," she said, sharing information obtained from many other schools in the state.
"I would hate to see that we have to pull kids out of school because they have no money to get testing," said board member Barb Seiler. "A lot of people don't have the money. They come here with what's in their car."
It was pointed out also that many people moving here have a waiting period for insurance and if they qualify for Medicaid or Hawkeye Insurance, the waiting periods are also long.
The school nurse would like to have a decision on the policy by kindergarten roundup (March).
McKenna added, "I would still feel good if we kept our policy. One case and we'd have trouble."
Although Wells has contacted officials from public health, the board will get additional information from local physicians on their feelings.
Resignations were accepted from:
* Donna Queen, Tornado Learning Center director
* Barbie Bass, MS eighth grade language arts instructor
Contracts will be offered to:
* Crystal Cudaback, business office administrative assistant
* Norma Lujano, ESL instructional associate at the high school